Latest News and Updates

13 May 2016

Project Fund 2016


Friday Afternoons is about encouraging young people to sing. Our newly composed songs and support material aim to help teachers develop their students’ skills – as performers, listeners and composers. The project was conceived as part of the Centenary celebrations of Aldeburgh Music’s founder, the composer, Benjamin Britten, with the initial aim of encouraging children and young people to sing. Since 2013, there have been more than 80,000 participants, from all around the world.

Aldeburgh Music is now committed to commissioning new songs on an annual basis, creating a song bank of repertoire for children and young people's voices. For each of the songs, teachers and choir leaders will find all of the resources required to take part on the website, completely free of charge. These include scores, lyrics, audio tracks, interactive resources from Charanga Music and signed videos.

We are thrilled that composer Jonathan Dove has written new songs for this year, set to specially written lyrics by Alasdair Middleton. Sheet music, backing tracks and other resources are available from our Song Bank, along with all of the songs from past years.

Through a generous Exceptional Award from Arts Council England we have been able to create a £15,000 project fund to enable partners to deliver activity and performance opportunities throughout the year, with a focus on digital delivery, creative responses, and working in areas of low engagement.

Who can apply?

The fund is available to support activity being developed specifically for the Friday Afternoons national singing project, and making use of Friday Afternoons songs.  In order to apply, you need to fulfill the following criteria:

- run activity throughout the year, working towards a culmination event
- signpost and promote the project to other parties throughout the year
- adhere to the Communications brief (to be sent if successful)
- adhere to the Monitoring and Assessment brief (to be sent if successful)

What are the activity priorities?

All projects should include at least one of the following priority areas:

- Digital
- Creative Response
- Working in areas of low engagement

Applications can come from individual organisations or consortia within the UK.

How much can be applied for

There is total fund of £15,000 available.  Grants of up to £2,000 are available with a lower limit of £500.  While match funding is not an essential requirement, it will help your application if there is evidence of fund raising for the project or match funding is offered from another source.  Salary and consultancy costs cannot be included in your application.

What are the key dates?

Activity:  this fund is for activity taking place between June 2016 and 31 March 2017.

Apply from:  Friday 13th May 2016

Decision: You will hear back from us within four weeks of submitting your initial application.

Closing date: The deadline for applying to our Project Fund is 21st October 2016. 

How to apply and the process

You will need to complete an application form following the guidelines below.  Please note that we will only accept applications through our online form.   

The Application: what to include

Outline in bullet point form how you are meeting the following criteria:

- running activity during the year, in the form of CPD, training, workshops, singing activities, performances
- signposting and promoting the project to other parties throughout the year
- delivering an event as part of the national celebrations throughout the year
- how you are fulfilling at least one of our three activity priorities

Your application should cover the following points, in no more than 1,500 words:

- What the overall aims and objectives are
- How your project will be delivered and to whom (approx numbers, ages and any other relevant information)
- When will your activity be taking place (please include a project schedule)
- Total cost of project and how much you are applying to us for
- Details of how the money will be spent (please include a budget showing all income and expenditure including any other funding secured or applied for)

Monitoring & Evaluation

You will be provided with a simple monitoring form and asked to complete and return it within a specified period of receiving grant funding, together with a written evaluation report and final project budget at the end of the project period.

In the event of any failure to comply with monitoring requirements, or any other discrepancies, Aldeburgh Music reserves the right to reclaim all or part of the grant made pro rata on a sliding scale per month over the term of the Funding Agreement.

Projects that do not start within 6 months may be asked to repay the grant in full, unless otherwise agreed in writing by Aldeburgh Music.

You are not allowed to change the nature of their project, as identified in the application form, unless agreed in writing beforehand by Aldeburgh Music. If agreement is not given groups may be required to repay the grant in full or in part at Aldeburgh Music’s discretion.


Please complete our Project Fund application form, which can be found at

15 April 2016

We are very pleased to announce the relaunch of the Friday Afternoons website.

This will now provide you with easier access to our songs and resources. It also includes sheet music and performance tracks of ‘Seasons and Charms’, this year’s new set of songs which has been specially commissioned from Jonathan Dove and Alasdair Middleton.

The site also has three new sections:

The Song Bank contains over 40 Friday Afternoons songs. In addition to ‘Seasons and Charms’, there’s music from Nico Muhly, Benjamin Britten and many others. You can filter these by level, composer and project year.

Showcase is the place to upload and share your responses to the Friday Afternoons music. This could be a song that you’ve written or a recording you’ve made of a performance – anything that’s been inspired by our music, it’s up to you.

The Who’s Involved section is where you can add your own activity to our interactive map, and browse through all the Friday Afternoons events that have taken place since the start of the project in 2013.

We are planning to add even more new content to the website in the next few months – including interactive resources from Charanga Music – so keep your eyes peeled!


If you spot any problems or find any glitches do let us know. Please send us an email.

13 April 2016

On Sunday the boys from the National Youth Choir of Great Britain performed the new set of songs for the Friday Afternoons project.

“The Friday Afternoons project continues to go from strength-to-strength and we are really pleased to be able to support it. Each year the team produce fresh and exciting new songs for children and young people to enjoy. But more than that, they also provide the resources teachers need to make that process fun and interactive.”

Hedley Swain, Area Direcor, South East, Arts Council England

The set of songs called 'Seasons and Charms' was created by Jonathan Dove with specially written texts by Alasdair Middleton. The songs include Mad Moon, Fire! and The Little Girl of Rain. The performance was signed by Dr Paul Whittaker OBE, conducted by Greg Hallam and accompanied by Ruairi Edwards.

Ann Barkway, Project Manager, Friday Afternoons, said: “Now in its fourth year, Friday Afternoons has become a regular fixture in the choral calendar, and we are delighted this year to have commissioned Jonathan Dove to write a new set of songs. The premiere performance, given by the National Youth Boys' Choir and conducted by Greg Hallam, was a wonderful opportunity to hear the new songs, and to witness the enthusiasm of the boys in performing them. We hope that, through free downloads of the songs and supporting resources available from, teachers and choir leaders around the UK will explore this new repertoire, and find an opportunity to get involved through performing, creating and listening. Everybody is welcome to take part!”

The new songs will be available from our website soon, but in the mean time you are able to download materials for more than forty songs from our website.


13 April 2016

Nick Tapper from ACE South East came to the Friday Afternoons premiere and wrote a piece for the Arts Council England website.

Click here to read it!